Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Surgery

Hubris versus skepticism: The case of neurosurgeon Ben Carson

As a surgeon and skeptic, I find neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate Ben Carson to be particularly troubling. I realize that I’ve said this before, but it’s hard for me not to revisit his strange case given that the New York Times just ran a rather revealing profile of him over the weekend, part of which […]

Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics Popular culture Quackery

Now what? Will SB 277 enrich antivaccine doctors?

My original intention was to write about something entirely different today, but, really, how could I, given that SB277 has become law in California and non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates are a thing of the past? The topic I had in mind for today can easily keep for a day or two anyway. Besides, […]

Cancer Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics Science

Does medical marijuana work? The answer is (mostly) “no” and “we don’t know”

My opinion about medical marijuana has been fairly consistent. First, the claims made by its advocates for it far exceed the evidence for its benefit, which is why I’ve referred to it as the “new herbalism.” Of course, it’s not really very new, but it is herbalism in that medical marijuana advocates make grandiose claims […]

Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics

Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy and “integrative medicine”: A cause for concern?

While I’ve been all tied up paying attention to the developments in the Stanislaw Burzynski case, it figures that President Obama would go and do something like nominating the next Surgeon General. Normally, this is not such a big deal, because there really hasn’t been a Surgeon General who has really been particularly well-known or […]

Cancer Politics

The Institute of Medicine report on cancer care: Is the system “in crisis”?

Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle…When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. […]

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